Overall Findings

PharmaFutures 1 was designed to explore plausible futures for the industry and consequently concluded with the three scenarios: the Producers Scenario the Patients Scenario and the Politics and Public Health Scenario. In addition to this focus on the hypothetical, the Working Group also identified the following seven key real-life findings facing the industry and its investors that were relevant in each scenario:

  1. The impacts of emerging markets on the global pharmaceutical industry appeared to be significantly underestimated.
  2. If new science does not bring innovative therapies to market quickly the risks of downward valuation of the industry and societal pressure for change are likely to continue.
  3. The industry faces a period of transition that requires a step change to more adaptive, flexible and open-minded leadership.
  4. Any major change to the business model will require a company to embrace the risks and benefits of being the first mover. Investors need to create market-based incentives to reward first-mover behaviour.
  5. Trust is a key issue for this highly regulated sector and is under serious threat.
  6. Market-based solutions are unlikely to systematically meet the access needs of people in the least developed countries due to extremely low per capita health expenditure.
  7. The growth of the patient-consumer lobby is a growing trend that offers long-term benefits in terms of patient empowerment and marketing advantages on one hand, and awareness of therapeutic risks and benefits and calls for increased transparency on the other.


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This is such a vital industry, with a strong and complex social contract. Hopefully, PharmaFutures can contribute to improved communications and a better alignment between society and shareholder needs.

Sophia Tickell, Director of PharmaFutures